Sergeant Matt Brilakis Retires
December 22, 2022
By Braden Schiller, Powell Tribune
Sgt. Matthew Brilakis will be retiring Nov. 20 after 15 years in the Powell Police Department (PPD) and 36 years total serving as a “C.O.P.”.
“He’s the epitome of that C.O.P. Community oriented policing. He is that cop,” Brilakis’ wife Kelly said.
Matthew began his career in Coral Springs, Florida, in 1986. His father pinned him at his graduation ceremony. During Brilakis’ time in Florida he served as a patrol officer and in tactical and gang units. He was recognized for starting community outreach and law enforcement programs and was honored as the officer of the year in 1994. He also received the prestigious medal of valor. At the time of his decoration Matthew was only the third officer in the Coral Springs Police Department to receive the medal.
In 2007 Matthew and Kelly moved to Powell because of Matt’s love of wildlife and Yellowstone. It was a decision that paid off, as he was even able to assist with the removal of a mountain lion from the middle of Powell.
“It has been very interesting to watch Matt grow into Wyoming from Florida and the background he had there,” Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said.
Eckerdt joked that Matthew grew from somebody who owned a defenders of wildlife coffee mug to a hunter and outdoorsman.
He quickly became known in the community through his outreach efforts and hard working attitude. In his time with PPD he earned the nicknames Papa B and Matt B Cop MD. Papa B because he was the community’s grandfather and Matt B Cop MD because he was always ready with information for the EMT’s when they arrived at an incident.
“Matt brings a tremendous passion to the career field,” Eckerdt said.
Matthew discovered the story of former Powell Police Chief Anthony Nelson while researching the department’s history for its centennial celebration. Nelson had died decades earlier after suffering a heart attack during duty. Matthew worked to get Nelson state and national recognition and he also worked with Rocky Mountain Manor to organize a service for Nelson and his descendants in 2010.
“He is very active with our senior centers, he gives fraud talks and various educational opportunities to our seniors,” Eckerdt said.
Matthew also started the Blue Angel program in Powell. This program allows senior citizens to sign up for lock boxes that PPD has access to. This allows officers access to home keys if welfare checks are called in for these residents. Matthew has been involved in and started many programs in his time in Powell, some of which include: The annual torch run fundraiser for Special Olympics, a beard growing fundraiser for Special Olympics, a newsletter for the senior center and Shop with a Cop. Shop with a Cop is a program in which local police officers and Walmart employees go on a shopping spree with children of families in need. They end the day with a pizza party and gift wrapping session.
“He just cries because he loves those kids,” Kelly said.